Dubai: In a major relief to the stranded expatriates desperate to return to their jobs, families and lives in the UAE, the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) on Tuesday lifted the ban on entry of passengers from India and five other countries starting from 5 August.
NCEMA said on Twitter that passengers travelling from countries where flights had been banned would be able to transit through its airports from August 5 as long as they present a negative PCR coronavirus test taken 72 hours prior to departure.
According to the latest directive, both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers from several other categories will also be allowed into the UAE from August 5.
These categories include health workers such as doctors, nurses and technicians employed in the UAE, those working in the education sector, students, humanitarian cases with valid residency permits, and employees of federal and local government bodies.
Final destination approval would also have to be provided, the authority said, adding that UAE departure airports would arrange separate lounges for transiting passengers.
The transit ban had also included Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Nigeria.
Dubai state carrier Emirates welcomed the government's decision to allow travel to resume from the affected countries. There was no immediate comment from other UAE airlines on the announcement, which also eased an entry ban on residents returning from countries where flights had been suspended.
NCEMA said a ban on entry to the UAE for passengers from these countries would also be lifted for those with valid residencies and who are certified by Emirati authorities as fully vaccinated.
However, they would need to apply for online entry permits prior to travelling and would need to present a negative PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure.
Those working in the medical, educational or government sectors in the Gulf Arab state, as well as those studying or completing medical treatment in the UAE, would be exempt from the vaccination requirement as would humanitarian cases.